1 / 4       © Toni Meneguzzo, from the series Divine Bovine, 2007-2013.
2 / 4       © Toni Meneguzzo, dalla serie Divine Bovine, 2007-2013.
3 / 4       During the visit to the exhibition Divine Bovine by Toni Meneguzzo. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.
4 / 4       During the visit to the exhibition Divine Bovine by Toni Meneguzzo. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.

Divine Bovine

I must admit, Divine Bovine by Toni Meneguzzo is one of the works that left me the most puzzled during the press conference presentation at the Photolux Festival 2015. That cow dressed up to party, which on the monitor, seemed to float in the milky white of a background obviously created ad hoc had raised many doubts about the consistency of the proposed work. Of course, to exhibit a work dedicated to the sacred cows in India within an edition devoted to the duality between sacred and profane was a more than acceptable choice, however when there is India in the middle and its traditions, the fear of being in front of works that we half expect, rhetorical, or at least seen and seen again, takes over. When I crossed the threshold of Studio Massimo Vitali within which the exhibition had been set up, I was prepared for the worst, and certainly did not expect to change my mind. Instead it is exactly what happened.
How is it possible to read in the presentation text that introduces the exhibition, Divine Bovine is the result of «a long process of study and travel, lasting five years to get the largest possible repertoire of art that is disappearing and leave testimony because there is no literature reference». From this exploration – that led Meneguzzo to cross many Indian states and to grapple with what he calls the twelve-tone signals to communicate better with his subjects sui generis –, A collection of real portraits of sacred cows was created, carefully prepared for some ritual celebrations, which the author subsequently cropped «to eliminate the surrounding rural scenery that is so full of iconography from Indian folklore to diminish the stylistic and artistic contributions used to celebrate the rite of perpetual life and the sacredness of the animal». A choice that allows the visitor to dwell on the details, on those colourful tracks and on the «glittering junk» that, completely redesigning the physiognomy of the animals involved in the ritual, are placed in fact at the base of the ritual and the artistic form and expression investigated by Meneguzzo. Even the choice of playing on a sort of imperfect seriality well suited to the primary objective of the author to create, as mentioned above, a sort of visual encyclopaedia dedicated to an ancient art, unique in its category, already for some time walking on the road of decline. And it is the effectiveness of this imperfect seriality, which was played in the preparation of the exhibition proposed in Luccaa.
A minimal set-up, somewhat poor, made up of a mosaic of small prints that are a counterpoint of only four enlargements. A simple idea and certainly not innovative or sophisticated, but that is certainly well suited to both the type of work and the space in which it is housed. [ S. B. ]

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by Toni Meneguzzo
Studio Massimo Vitali | 21 November - 13 December 2015
admission fee: free entrance

– – –

Photolux 2015: the exhibitions
[ video ] Sacred and Profane: interview with Enrico Stefanelli
Photolux 2015 on FPmag

Toni Meneguzzo
Photolux Festival 2015

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published on 2015-11-30 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

PHOTOLUX PHOTOLUX2015 ToniMeneguzzo StefaniaBiamonti


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